Besides 5 box sets, 12 vinyl-only and 3 single-CD albums were also released during the 1980s and 2 new single-CDs were released in 2004. The name of the series, as well as its concept, is a takeoff on the 1972 double LP Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968, originally compiled by Lenny Kaye and released on Elektra Records.
The music on Rhino Records' 1984-1989 Nuggets series is similar to that on Kaye's original compilation. While many of the songs on the 1980s series' fifteen albums appeared on the original Nuggets double LP, others were new to the series and some eventually wound up on Rhino's 1998 4-cd box set. The series focuses primarily on relatively obscure garage and psychedelic rock songs from the 1960s, but with some hits and pop-oriented songs. Although most of the music was recorded by US groups, there are some exceptions, such as The Troggs (English) and The Easybeats (Australian). Generally, the music on Nuggets is less obscure and unrefined than that on other garage rock series, such as Back from the Grave or Pebbles.
The fifteen volumes of Nuggets released by Rhino Records between 1984-1989.